The Hill Team was fortunate to have Jim Cox of Jim Cox Report review our book, Success, Your Path to a Successful Book. When I read his update of July 4, 2010, it made me feel more than fortunate that he took the time to review our book.  Since there are so many aspiring authors, this is valuable information on the publishing industry. His words are in teal. I’ve made bold those statistics I feel are extremely important.

I was listening to the radio as I was getting up this morning and the half-hour Sunday morning program “Media Watch” was on. The subject was the book industry — past, present, and future. One cited statistical figure caught my attention in particular. The number of books being published annual in this country now exceeds half a million titles.

The Midwest Book Review receives an average of 2,300 titles a month. With 12 months in the year my little calculator show that to be around 27,600 titles a year.

That means that last year there were some 472,400 titles that I never saw.

One more little statistic. Each month the Midwest Book Review averages about 650 reviews. That means around 7,800 reviews a year.

I’d be interested if anyone knows the numbers of submissions vs. the numbers of reviews the other major book reviews receive and produce over the course of an average year.

Interesting statistics — and relevant for anyone seeking to gauge just what they are up against should they want to write and/or publish books.

With respect to reviews and reviewers:

1. Freelance reviewers own the rights to their reviews, unless they sell those rights along with their reviews to a publication. Reviewers who receive a salary from the publication that publishes their reviews do not own those rights — the publication does.

2. With respect to reviews generated by and for the Midwest Book Review, authors and publishers are automatically given full permission to utilize the review in any manner they deem useful to promote and market their books.

For a good many years during the 1960s and 1970s, Madison Wisconsin alternated with Berkeley California for first place in the nation in numbers of books purchased per capita of the population. Those were the glory days and will not come again in what remains of my life time.

I keep tabs with those book stores that still survive and the news these past 18 months or so is grim indeed. Four bookstores have closed their doors in just this last year. Three more won’t still be open by the end of this year.

The handful of independent bookstores left are all dependent on their online business to keep their doors open. Because of the Great Recession, online sales are steadily eroding.

It’s just a fact of doing business in the book selling world as it exists today.

Next to community libraries, community bookstores were my personal sanctuary from the stresses of life from early childhood through my young adulthood. Of course, that was an age before the coming of the personal computer and the Internet and the Baby Boom and 250 television channels via cable or satellite.

It was an age that I’ve come to look back upon fondly — a kind of ‘golden age’ for bibliophiles like me who would rather browse for hours amongst dusty shelves of forgotten tomes in local independent bookstores, than sit mesmerized into the idiocy that is the common pap of ‘Reality TV’ which passes itself off as meaningful reflections of contemporary life and culture today.

“Book Publicity on a Shoestring” has been added to the Advice for Publishers section at:


Maralyn D. Hill, President
International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association
Books By Hills Success With Writing Where & What in the World
Member: Society of Professional JournalistsFinalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, “$uccess, Your Path to a Successful Book,”